Reps probe NPA over $1bn ‘secret account’

Hadiza-Bala-Usman
Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman

 

The House of Representatives has resolved to investigate the alleged secret account being kept by the Nigerian Ports Authority with a balance of over $1 billion.

The move followed the unanimous adoption of a motion of urgent public importance moved by Kolawole Lawal at the plenary on Thursday.

The motion was entitled, ‘The Need to Investigate the Alleged Illegal Secret Account Opened by the Nigerian Ports Authority in Unity Bank to Collect Revenue from Vessels’.

Consequently, the House mandated the Committees on Finance; and Ports and Harbours to “investigate these allegations and counter-allegations, determine if the Nigerian Ports Authority or any of their personnel committed any infractions.”

Lawal, while moving the motion, noted the controversy generated by a whistleblower who claimed that while acting in line with the whistleblower policy of the Federal Government, he duly informed, in confidence, the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation about a hidden or secret account operated by the NPA in Unity Bank to collect revenue generated from sea vessels.

The lawmaker said the whistleblower alleged that the information he gave to the OAGF led to the exposure of an illegal secret account in a Lagos branch of Unity Bank, where the sum of $1,034, 516,000 was kept, contrary to financial regulations and the Constitution.

He said the whistleblower also alleged that the information was verified and approved by the OAGF as qualified for financial reward, as prescribed under the whistleblower policy of the Federal Government.

Lawal noted that based on the advice of the OAGF, a written agreement was reached between a representative of the whistleblower, Mamman Maiyaki & Co. Legal Practitioners, and the office as evidence of the transaction.

The lawmaker also noted that the NPA, in response to the allegation, admitted it operates an account with a Lagos branch of Unity Bank with Account Number 0013670344 and a balance of $1,057,772,000.03 as of December 4, 2019, but denied the sum of $1,034,515,000.03 as alleged by the whistleblower. 



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